Boating & Cruising

Photos, ramblings and the occasional bit of useful information from our voyages aboard the runabout Sunset Chaser and other small boats.

Faux pas from the launch ramp

Trailer boaters are generally a pleasant, easy-going lot.

That doesn't mean it's impossible to frustrate them, though. If you really want to be the bane of the local boat ramp, try any (or all) of these behaviours... and see what happens. (These are all real incidents from recent years, some of them disturbingly common. Names and registry numbers have been omitted to protect the guilty.)

Manually starting an electric-start outboard

If you have an electric-start outboard, and it doesn't have a rope starter built in, a second independent battery is essential. Because the "emergency rope start procedure":

Does not work.

The immortal aluminum skiff

A great many cruising sailors swear by their rigid-hulled inflatable dinghies. The cream-of-the-crop is, apparently, a 10 to 14 foot Hypalon-tubed, fibreglass-bottomed thing with a two-stroke Yamaha on the back. Some folks start with something smaller and less rigid, but the small RIBs eventually dominate.

Up in Northern Ontario, though, such a vessel would be unthinkable. Almost every lake has rocks and deadheads that would tear an inflatable apart. The docks are rough, the winters are harsh, the repair facilities are non-existent. There's lumber to carry, fish to land and young skippers to teach.

Here, the humble, immortal aluminum skiff is king.

Does this look like boating weather?

Today might be a good day to head out on the lake, if it's not too rough out there. Does this look like boating weather to you?

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